Europe has the ambition to become a global giant of batteries, but if the assembly of these essential components for the electronic products and the automobile can be carried out on the old continent, it is necessary all the same to import the various materials which make up the batteries.
Germany could well offer a solution to the problem of supplying lithium, a raw material essential for the production of batteries. The European Commission estimates that lithium needs will be 18 times greater by 2030 in the automotive industry alone, which is becoming electrified.
40,000 tons per year
Currently, the lithium used in electric batteries comes from Asia and South America. An extraction that does not necessarily meet the best environmental standards. Europe could have a say in the supply of this resource: the company Vulcan Energy Resources has announced that there is a huge lithium deposit in the south of the country, in the Rhine Valley.
In this 200-kilometer-long zone, there would indeed be enough to extract 15,000 tonnes of lithium per year from 2024, then 40,000 tonnes until the end of the decade! Enough to supply a battery production line capable of equipping 400 million electric motor vehicles …
To exploit this deposit, Vulcan Energy Resources wants to invest 2 billion euros: the extraction must be carbo-neutral, the company will build geothermal stations essential for the operation. So a lot of money, but on the one hand we must prevent this lithium from producing CO2 (if not, what is the environmental interest of a battery?), And on the other hand this deposit represents a further step towards greater European sovereignty in this area.